25 December 2006


This is what I gave Dotty for Christmas:

I had a blast putting it all together. It's pretty much everything anyone would ever need for making their own note cards, mail art, collages -- whatever. I was so excited to get to share!

I also made my mom some potholders, which I forgot to take pictures of before I mailed them.

I made Norman a pair of flannel boxers, and I'd take a picture of them, but he's wearing them at the moment (too much information?).

I made a bunch of other people some croutons and dream bars, but pictures of those would be boring.

But what I can give you are pictures of what I gave Meghan (Earl) Barnes for her wedding shower:

A throw pillow and sham.

And two ribbon candle votives. These are approximately her house colors (in a non-Hogwarts kind of way.) Yay!

23 December 2006


Not crafty, but I just had to acknowledge the passing of the following men:

Peter Boyle


15 December 2006

Best Thrift Find EVER

Now, I've found some great things at thrift stores and garage sales. Probably at the top of the list would be the $12 12"x 16" paper cutter. That is, until yesterday. Yesterday was the day I found the following at the First Presbyterian Thrift Shop in Norman, OK.

Yep. It's a Madeleine L'engle book. I saw it and thought, "Oh, that's the one about the dolphins. I didn't really like that one," and made to put it back. Then I thought, "Well, it looks older -- maybe it's a first edition, and I can sell it." So I looked inside, and I saw:

...and also...

...and I gasped. Out loud. A freaking Madeleine L'engle signed first edition. And then I looked at the sign with the book prices.

HARDBACKS -- 50 cents

Hmm... Maybe they priced it for more somewhere on the book. ::looking...looking:: Nope. It was fifty cents. So I gathered the rest of my purchases (two very nice wool dress skirts for a dollar each that were, until that moment, the highlights of my trip, some Christmas cards, and other miscellany), and checked out. I spent $5.15.

I got outside and felt like I had just robbed them. It was great.

So, if you know anyone who collects signed first editions, let me know. I'm looking to liquidate.

09 December 2006

Light Box!

So I finally broke down and made a light box (after searching the cardboard recyclables dumpster by the ValuFoods). It looks like this:

...but it makes pictures look like this!:

(Although I still need to work on the light diffusion a little more...)

Woot! Now hopefully my products will look a little more professional.

I found the instructions here.

18 November 2006

As promised...

Pimp My Stocking, part II

Here is my brand new, super-fabulous, retro, kitchy-chic Christmas stocking. I know my mother will probably think to herself something like, "She'd rather have this than her old one??" Yes. Yes I would. First of all, it's corduroy, and you just can't go wrong with corduroy. Second, it says my name on it. My old one said "Jessica". People only call me that when they have no idea who I am and are reading my name off a list of some kind.

The corduroy is all scraps (hence the crazy-quilt nature of the stocking) that I got from a giant box of mostly corduroy scraps for $3 in Minnesota two summers ago. It's just the most wonderful stuff ever. See that print in the middle of the stocking? The tan with flowers? (I know, you can't see it very well.) Yeah, I have that piece, and another piece slightly larger. I wish I had yards upon yards of it. I love it. So I decided to immortalize it in the stocking.

Here's the back, the loop, the inside, and my hand. It doesn't have a pocket like Norman's. It's so awesome, I don't think it could have handled a pocket.

So, there you have it. Now I can start working on Christmas presents. Sadly, those probably won't be up on the blog until after Christmas. Never fear, faithful reader (and I do mean that in the singular), I have self-diagnosed CADD (Craft Attention Deficit Disorder), so I'll probably be making other things too.

15 November 2006

Pimp My Stocking

I've just completed Norman's new Christmas stocking. It's made out of neckties. We're starting afresh -- new family, new stockings. Mostly, this is because I hate mine from childhood. I actually kinda wish I had one like my mom's. It's pretty sweet. But I don't have a picture of that. Or my old one. Or my new one, because I haven't made it yet. But what I do have is a picture of Norman's new one. Here ya go:

I satin stitched his name on with my sewing machine. It's not quite as elegant as I would have liked, but the other alternative would be to pay $10 to have it done professionally on a monogram machine. And I'm cheap. Here's the inside:

Yep, that's a pocket. Norman requested it. He figured as long as I was making a stocking from scratch, it might as well be pimped out (my words, not his).

Also, the little loop to hang it from is made out of a necktie tag. Yeah. Totally pimped.

Mine's going to be corduroy. I'll post pics when it's done.

08 November 2006

Bartering - a throwback to a simpler time

K Mac asked me last Friday if I could make her a purse. I said "Well yeah, that's what I do." Not really. I said something along the lines of "Probably. What did you have in mind?" Well, we worked it out, and in the end, I'm one jar of natural, no-sweatener-added applesauce richer, and as soon as I give her the purse, she'll be one awesome clutch wristlet richer. Woohoo! Norman calls this "Double Coincidence of Wants". Kelly and I call it bartering. Here's the purse:

And here's the applesauce:

Hooray, bartering!

03 November 2006

Magic Sticker Maker

While I was in Minnesota, I mentioned that I was thinking about buying a Xyron sticker maker. My 16-year-old brother Henry piped up and said "I still have Jake's old one that he left me. I never use it. You want it?" He got it out, and lo and behold, it's an older version of the Xyron 250, which they apparently used to bill as the "Magic Sticker Maker". All signs point to the fact that a Xyron 250 refill cartridge will fit in it. I'm very excited.

Sticker maker:

Here are some stickers I made out of some vintage wallpaper that I cut up:

And here's a fabric sticker (Ooooo, ahhhhh...)

If I were you, I would expect the amount of stickers produced to increase dramatically, and then I would expect to see them for sale in sets and in card-making kits on my Etsy shop. But that's just me.

02 November 2006

Thrifty Goodness

I went to Minnesota last week. Traveling to towns you aren't usually in is a great way to clean up at the local thrift stores. It's all new to you. Here's my inventory from the Fairmont, MN Salvation Army and the Mankato, MN Salvation Army:

33 zippers in original packaging - 5 cents each on sale
3 crewel embroidery kits and a calico flower making kit (for sale at My Etsy Shop)
pink paisley shirt (it's a lot cuter than it sounds) - free
denim-y colored long-sleeved tee - $2
shirt for Norman - $2.50
assorted vintage fabric
bag of approx. 20 neck ties - $4.50 (for Norman's new Christmas stocking - pictures to come)
5 embroidered ladies' handkerchiefs - $1.25
Twin flat sheet that looks like a Twister mat
Assorted cotton thread (plan to use for tatting)
approx. 50 vintage envelopes - $1.00
other assorted envelopes - crazy cheap (can't remember)
145 travel sewing kits - $4.50 - They look like big matchbooks. I'm going to put my website on them and give them out -- like business cards but better.
assorted lace and findings, including D rings and some tailor's chalk (yay!)
book for turning into a journal

But the best thing ever is the dark gray, wool, perfect fit, silver buttons, pea coat that I got for -- that's right -- free. It had a red tag. Apparently Thursday, Oct 26 was Red-Tags-Are-Free Day. Minnesotans are crazy.

Needless to say, there's quite a bit of crafting that will result from this bounty. I have a much more reliable computer now, so I'll try to keep you updated.

18 August 2006

Llama Llama Duck update

I finally got around to making a purse out of some of those embroidered animal squares I bought at an estate sale. Because the llama, llama, and duck squares are so precious to me, I thought I'd start with something not so precious -- whales. So I made a whale purse. One of them is white, so it's actually a Moby Dick purse. It has a snap and everything. I'm actually rather pleased with how it turned out. See?

It was my first experiment with gussets. Not too shabby.

08 July 2006

Alright, quick and dirty, I've been making note cards like a crazy person. Ta da!

Comic book cards to the left.


Crazy wallpaper cutouts

"Creative Men" -- that's right, manly men doing manly craft projects.

And yes, they are all for sale here.

13 June 2006

Hostess Gifts

Told ya -- wedding stuff. Seven lovely ladies threw a bridal shower for me a couple weeks ago. These are the gifts I gave each of them. There's a votive candle holder with beaded ribbon trim, a red toile lavender sachet, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. :-) They all came in a Chinese take out boxes I found at Michael's.

For da bling

I made this jewelry holder at the request of my former roommate. It was a first attempt, and I think I could improve on it. I might try one of these days. It has canvas flaps for earrings, plastic rings to string necklaces and bracelets through, and a zippered pouch for odds and ends. It hangs, and also rolls up for travel. I'm pretty proud of it, but it could definitely be better.

Llama Llama Duck

Ya know that internet short "The Llama Song"? (Well, you should. Go here.) I found these appliqued and embroidered fabric squares at an estate sale. They were in this order when I found them. There are also these:

I'm thinking handbags, but who knows?

11 April 2006

One for me, one for you...

Two tablecloths from eBay, now two skirts. This one turned out soooo much better than I expected it would. I inherited this really wide stretchy lace stuff from my great-grandma, so I deciced I would try to use it as a waistband, ala the t-shirt material people use for the same purpose on Craftster. Oh did it ever work. The skirt can be worn high or low, and since it was a square tablecloth, it's all gypsy and pointy at the bottom. This one is for you. It's for sale at my Etsy shop.

This, however, is the reason I bought the lot of tablecloths in the first place. This tablecloth was destined to be a skirt from its creation. I mean, look at it. I decided to put a zipper in it instead of an elastic waistband so it would be longer. The trim on the bottom used to be major fringe, but I sort of cut it off. Which left some other trim. I can't really describe the process, but that extra trim is also for sale at my Etsy shop. But this skirt isn't. To quote Dr. House, "It's mine. You can't have any."

So inappropriate...

No, that's not a baby girl's headband. That would be my wedding garter. And no, you will not be getting a picture of it being modeled. I love the tradition of the garter toss. My parents think it's "tacky". My future brother-in-law is dead set against it. But I like it. And my fiance likes it. So it's all good.

I decided to make my own because, first of all, I can, and secondly, all the ones you can buy are so boring, all shiny and lacy and light blue. Gag. Tartan and eyelet is soooo much cooler. I was actually thinking of making more crazy/interesting/not cheesy garters and selling them on Etsy. Ya know, some black lace, some paisley, some corduroy. Okay, maybe not corduroy. What do you think?

Meet Nina

This is Nina. She's my new sewing machine. I got her off eBay as a graduation present. Isn't she beautiful? All metal. Oh yeah. She can do all sorts of things my trusty but limited 1959 Singer can't. She's just like the one I've been using at work for the last 2 years, so I know all about what she can do and how to take care of her.

Here is her ridiculous collection of feet for doing different things. She also came with more needles than I'll ever use in a lifetime, and oil, and screwdrivers and things.

And here is her house. She, and her table extension, and her accessory case all fit in there!

She's just amazing, and she'll probably still be working years after I die.

30 March 2006

Busy-ness Cards

So, I just made myself some business cards. They have my Etsy shop's web address on them. I'm pretty impressed with them. And with myself. They look pretty darn nice. I'm going to stick them in when I mail things I've sold on Etsy, and also leave them randomly at cafes and things. Just to see what happens. Annie's printer is surprisingly okay with cardstock. Cool. I know, you're all thinking "But, but, but... I want to see the wonderfulness!" Well, too bad. I tried, but my digital camera is farsighted. Drat.

26 March 2006

Meet Buford

Ok, so I lied. This is actually going to be a craft and thrifting/rummaging/junking blog. Therefore, I present to you Buford. He's my new briefcase. I found him at the local Goodwill for $2.00. His name is Buford because his ID label says he once belonged to one Buford L. Allen of Las Vagas, Nevada. On the bottom he has an imprint that says he's the property of the US government, but we all know that's not true, now don't we? Anyway, he's in fairly good condition for how old I suppose he is, and he smells just heavenly on the inside. Like old record albums, I think. And books. Just rather musty in a wonderful way. Oh yeah, and I bought him for my fiance under the pretense that he would need Buford when he starts grad school in the fall, but I'm falling more in love with Buford every hour. I guess we'll see about that.

25 March 2006